Swatch, purveyor of inexpensive watches you buy on layovers, plans to release a smartwatch within the next three months that will connect to the internet without needing to be charged. That’s a revved-up idea. The new Swatch will be released roughly at the same time as the hotly anticipated Apple Watch, which reports suggest could have catastrophically terrible battery life.
Swatch confirmed its plans in an email to Gizmodo, but details on what this watch might look like or do are slim, except that it will be able to connect to the internet without a charge and that it will be compatible with both Android and Windows phones.
How exactly the watch will be able to connect to the internet without a charge isn’t clear, but I would be very surprised to see a self-winding watch like the Sistem51 Swatch launched last year. It seems more likely, that the forthcoming wristable will be powered by a watch battery that can run for a long period of time before being replaced. (To be clear: What’s pictured above is a Sistem51, not an image of the new watch.)
Even the best smartwatches have the fatal flaw that they need to be removed from your wrist at least every couple of days and connected to power or else they stop working. And if the reports about the Apple Watch are correct, it might need a charge every few hours. A watch that needs to be charged constantly ultimately isn’t useful. Eventually, you will look at it to tell you the time and it will be dead.
That’s why the news about this new Swatch is pretty exciting — smartwatch that doesn’t need charging. Cool! After seeing so many smartwatches that are basically computers that also tell time, I wouldn’t mind something with a little more of the watch’s timeless utility — that also happens to do some computer stuff, too. [Bloomberg]